Discrimination against women can be found in many ideologies but Islam is in a class by itself. Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, forces women to have a male guardian when in public and prohibits them from driving cars. Religious police force Saudi women to wear the niqab which covers everything but their eyes and hands. In education, politics and professional life, Saudi Arabia denies women basic equalities citing the Quran as justification.
Since the 1960s, Saudi Arabia has used trillions of dollars in oil revenue to export Wahhabism, a pure form of Islam. Contrary to its portrayal in the western press, Wahhabism is not an extreme interpretation of Islam, it is simply the application of Sharia law as prescribed by the holy books of Islam, the Quran and the Hadith.
Muhammad, the founder of Islam, enshrined gender inequality in numerous ways. He practiced polygamy, taking eleven wives for himself while placing a limit of four wives on other Muslim men. He legitimized child marriage by marrying Aisha at the age of six. According to Islamic scholars, Muhammad consummated the marriage when Aisha was nine and he was fifty-four. This has provided the justification for pedophilia in Muslim communities throughout the world.
Mohammed instructed Muslim men to beat their wives if they showed arrogance (Quran 4:34) and instructed Muslim women to be available to satisfy their husband’s sexual desires at any time (Sahih Bukhari 121).
If Muslim woman have it bad under Islam, non-Muslim women have it much worse. Muhammad had many sex slaves he considered the spoils of war. According to Islamic scholars, Islam allows a man to have intercourse with his slave woman. What western societies consider rape, the Quran condones as a legitimate method for spreading Islam to kafir, or non-Muslims.
Considering Islam’s appalling record on woman’s rights, it’s hard to fathom why any woman would call herself a Muslim. In fact, most woman don’t choose to become Muslims, they are born in Muslim families and are indoctrinated at a very young age.
Girls as young as four and five years old are taught that if they do not submit to Islam, they will be abandoned by their families and friends, and killed in some circumstances to protect the family honor. If they protest they are often beaten. This harsh treatment leads most to form cognitive dissonance as adults, causing them to defend Islam to avoid the the being punished or even killed for opposing it.
Nowhere is this as clear as the movement to force women to wear head coverings such as the hijab, chador, niqab and burqa. Some women, such as Nazma Khan, claim these head coverings “protect women” or “empower them”. In reality, the opposite is true. Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan where head coverings are prevalent are the most dangerous places for women, and women there are almost powerless.
In fact, these head coverings were not widely used for the first 1600 years of Islam. Muhammad did not encourage women to wear them in the Quran or Hadith. They are the inventions of Imams in the 1960s to spread political Islam. As such, they are instruments of heresy to be avoided by Muslim and non-Muslim’s alike.
Asra Nomani published an article in the Washington Post article to explain the origins of the hijab and the efforts by Islamists to use it to political ends.
This modern-day movement, codified by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Taliban Afghanistan and the Islamic State, has erroneously made the Arabic word hijab synonymous with “headscarf.” This conflation of hijab with the secular word headscarf is misleading. “Hijab” literally means “curtain” in Arabic. It also means “hiding,” ”obstructing” and “isolating” someone or something. It is never used in the Koran to mean headscarf.
For these reasons, we have declared February 1st to be Free Women From Islam day and we have launched the hashtag #FWFIslam to promote it.
What can I you do to help free women from abuse in the name of Islam?
Promote this article on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
Use the hashtag #FWFIslam to draw attention to women’s rights abuses under Islam.
Post a link to this page in the comments sections of articles that portray the use of Islamists head coverings as cultural phenomena.
Educate western women that participate in events such as World Hijab Day as to the oppressive origins of certain head coverings.
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Image via Muhhamad Syed @MoTheAtheist